Can The "Sears Catalog" Save Sears?

When Sears chairman, Eddie Lampert, took over Kmart, he was determined to revive the long dead “blue light special.” Excited about bringing back the old favorite, Lampert’s chief marketing officer called the new campaign a “marketplace of discoveries.”

Sadly for Lampert, the most shoppers “discovered” Kmart stores were dirty, understocked, and oddly overpriced.

The latest old idea that Lampert is going to make new again may be the “Sears catalog.” The Chicago Tribune seems to think that its an old idea that may actually save Sears:

“If you think about what the Big Book originally tried to do, it was to open up all this stuff to people living in the cabins in the Plains, and that’s essentially what they’re doing,” said e-commerce guru Bill Bass, who ran Sears’ online business before Lampert took control of Sears in 2005. Bass currently is co-founder and CEO of Fair Indigo, a fair-trade direct merchant of clothing. “When you think about the power of the Internet, that’s what it’s really good at.”

Brand expert Jonathan Salem Baskin is one who sees the potential. He outlined his self-described radical idea for saving Sears on his blog, envisioning Sears.com as “a gateway to whatever is hot.” He suggests Sears host branded boutiques from vendors around the world. Its 3,500-store base could shrink and function as a place Americans can go to pick up or exchange merchandise.

“Talk about a rich heritage,” said Baskin, president of Baskin Associates Inc., a Chicago-based brand consulting firm. “Like anything, it would take some commitment. Why couldn’t Sears bring the world to me?”

Do we need another Amazon.com-type retailer?

How is Sears doing these days? Are they still having major problem with their repair division? Tell us at tips@consumerist.com, and put “Sears” in the subject. Remember: We love pictures.

Sears: Virtual approach to a vintage retailing idea [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo:I na aina e )

Comments

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  1. kittenfoo says:

    Um, I think the answer to the title’s question is “no.”

  2. Geekybiker says:

    I always loved the “big book” as a kids. I’d spend hours looking over all the toys. As an internet retailer, sears would have to change alot to interest me though. Every experience I’d had with the technological competence has not been good.

  3. htrodblder says:

    ‘most shoppers “discovered” Kmart stores were dirty, understocked, and oddly overpriced.’

    And even more sadly, that hasn’t changed a bit…

  4. pegr says:

    One word: Prodigy. That sums up their technical ability.

  5. mac-phisto says:

    sears.com sucks. that is all.

  6. scoobydoo says:

    The best thing Sears can do for the world is close up shop and start from scratch.

    I believe in the concept of Sears, and we certainly don’t need yet another large retailer going out of business. But there is just no way to fix the current stores without tearing them down and starting again.

  7. Chairman-Meow says:

    Are you telling me that Sears has discovered the Intertubes ? OMGZ!!!1!

    How very, ummmm 1995 of them.

  8. @htrodblder: Well, it’s probably been awhile since most people have even been inside a K-Mart. I went yesterday because I didn’t feel like fighting the traffic and crowds at Wal-Mart, which in our village sits at the end of a cul-de-sac in a savanna of big-box stores and all their traffic. Anyway, our K-Mart hasn’t changed since I was a child in the late 60s and early 70s. Austin Powers, if he were American, would have instantly recognized it today. Like Austin, most people who found themselves in a K-Mart for whatever reason would not have noticed the disappearance and return of the Blue Light Special.

    The people who shop there all look like they’ve been shopping there since the Johnson administration. Habit and brand loyalty are the only things holding our neighborhood K-Mart together. It occupies one half of a forlorn strip mall; an abandoned supermarket comprises the other half, and its emptiness gives our K-Mart an even more depressing look than would otherwise be possible, even for K-Mart.

    I don’t know what has to happen to fix a retail chain once it starts its slide into oblivion, but whatever it is, it should happen soon, and I am not optimistic given K-Mart’s choice of business partners.

  9. thirdbase says:

    Isn’t this the same Sears that put everyones order history online with no security for all the world to see. Umm I think they are doomed as an internet based company. They certainly are doomed as a brick and morter company. Looks to me like their catalog won’t fare much better. Every aspect of Sears/Kmart has been run poorly. Incompetance runs rampant at this company.

  10. fostina1 says:

    speaking of sears, does anyone have any experience with the no payment for 12 months promos. they have one now for the lawn and garden section. and i could use a new mower to pay for next income tax. im just worried they will charge me monthly anyway.

  11. TheBigLewinski says:

    So, how do they expect me to wipe my behind with a computer screen?

  12. nursetim says:

    Given all of the online glitches that have been written here, if Sears were to actually attempt something like this, it would not end well. It could possibly be the end of the line for Sears.

  13. Juggernaut says:

    “Seerz” cause we’re as ignorant as the people still shopping here!!

  14. bohemian says:

    I would love to be able to sit in on their executive planning meetings. It would be hard to contain my snickering and eye rolling though.

    Sears could potentially be the “everything to your door” company. That would take scrapping every moron and current system working there. I think they are just too far gone to ever fix it now. That and Amazon is already well on the way to being that.

  15. dragonfire81 says:

    Most consumers have the internet, why bother with a paper catalog?

    Just more wasteful spending for a company Wal-mart all but buried years ago.

  16. fizatdh says:

    I recently tried to purchase a dvd with a gift certificate on sears.com, i ended up having to pay the difference b/c of the 8 dollar shipping! Anyway, the DVD got stuck in some sort of in-process limbo that I can only assume is just below the 7th circle of hell.

    I called up sears.com, and was informed that they could do nothing for me. So I ask, “can i just go pick one up at the local sears?” No we can’t do that. “Well can you send me another DVD that is not stuck in processing?” Thats also not possible either, “well what can you do to rectify this?” Unfortunately nothing. “um, can i cancel the order?” I can put a request but it may take a while to process.

    This was supposed to be a Christmas present, I just got the refund, i honestly thought i would never see that money again.

    BTW, I bought the DVD from amazon when i hung up and it was waiting for me when i got home from work the next day. Long story short: yeah sears.com would need to become a little more nibble to compete online.

  17. vastrightwing says:

    Imagine Sears on the internet. Your item will be shipped out in 3 weeks (maybe). Your account was billed in error. We respond to all emails in 48 hours or later. The item you thought you ordered is out of stock and was canceled. The item you got was not what you ordered? Sure! You must agree to a 4 year warranty agreement in order to get the item at this price. The price you saw on the last refresh of your browser is no longer available. The IS department is made up of all the previous store clerks.

    Yes, Sears.com will make all the “YourDigitalStorzs.com” look good by comparison.

  18. @htrodblder: It always shocks me just HOW overpriced they are. There isn’t a walmart around my house, but I’ll drive 45 minutes to go to one for the prices.
    I did go into a Kmart a few weeks ago though, and got some AMAZING deals on some clearance stuff. They tend to have a good amount of staples like shampoo and stuff on clearance, but not much else.

  19. durkzilla says:

    @TheBigLewinski:

    I came in here to say that too – I find the reference in the quote to “people living in the cabins in the Plains” and laugh at the reality that most folks who got the Sears catalog back then only looked forward to its later usefulness in cleaning crap off their behinds. Truly this is the definition of “irony”.

  20. NotATool says:

    A complete reversal from the rationalization for eliminating the Sears catalog in the 1990’s! What’s changed since? Has Sears become more efficient or competent? How will the catalog be any different than their existing online business?

    And what does this have to do with Sears Canada (picture is of the Sears in Toronto – Eaton Centre)?

  21. Ragman says:

    Amazon basically used the initial Sears catalog ideal on the internet – put everything customers may want in one spot to order from. Too bad Sears didn’t stay relevant in the 90’s and do what Amazon ended up doing. Maybe it was better this way.

    I remember the days of the Sears Wish Book, and how it was, for many, the only place you’d find some things without making a major trip somewhere. Some towns that weren’t big enough for a Sears retail store would have catalog stores to handle the catalog orders.

    The Kmart and Sears I remember as a kid in the early 80’s were pretty decent, but they were also in a small city, so they made up a big part of the retail area. The Kmart I remember sliding in upkeep into the 90’s, however. The last Kmart I’ve been in was in Texas before they closed them in the state. It was a total freaking hole – I had trouble believing that they actually let the store get to that condition.

  22. cookmefud says:

    sears is great for when you really need that 35 dollar pair of van heusen pleated slacks, or the occasional singing animated plastic wall trout.

  23. bigdave914 says:

    Ahh the good ol’ days…

    [www.flickr.com]

    So funny…

  24. frogman31680 says:

    I worked at our local Kmart for about 6 months. In that time period, there were over 15 fire able offenses committed by management alone.

    For instance, our Thanksgiving flyer stated at every store would be a certain number of Nintendo Wiis. On Thanksgiving morning we posted a sign stating that we had *8* on hand. Then 15 minutes before the store opened, the store manager sold *5* to employees.

    Now, what about the customers? Also in the rules we sign to be employed, it stated there is to be no merchandise held for employees or customers. The store managers response to this was, “It’s my store and I’ll do what I want.”

    It is in this way that Sears Holdings Corp could give a damn less about their employees, customers, and their business.

    My only wish is to hope that Kmart can work to get the hatred that Walmart gets.

  25. cromartie says:

    True story. I used to rent a house that was Sears pre-fab, ordered and built in 1907.

    Anytime anyone mentions the state of Sears Holdings, I point them to:

    [www.washingtonpost.com]

    a rather well written article on how much of a mess Sears Holdings actually is as a company.

    Not that too many people on this board would doubt this, but it’s astounding to me to see just how far Sears and K Mart have fallen over the course of my lifetime. K Mart of course spent the 1990s with no inventory control, no leadership, and hemorrhaging market share and here we are, 2/3rds of the way through the 2000s and Kmart still has no leadership, no inventory control, no cohesive marketing plan, and hemorrhaging market share.

    Though Sears Canada has it’s sh*t together, the US division…notsomuch.

    And the catalog idea will fail miserably, though I would encourage all bricks and mortar stores to do what bn.com and borders.com, among others do:

    1) Let me view an item online.
    2) Let me know if it’s in a store near me.
    3) Let me order and pay for it online.
    4) Let me pick it up at the store.

    In any event, I’ll stop taking up bandwidth. But I would encourage anyone who has a significant interest in just what’s wrong with Sears Holdings read the above article. It explains a lot.

  26. categorically says:

    I hate to think a generation of boys growing up haven’t been able to take the “Big Book” into their bathrooms to look at the ladies underwear section. I guess they do that on their iPods these days huh?

    “Uh Dad, I was just looking at the tractors”

  27. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    A day late and a dollar short.

    What Sears could have been

  28. MercuryPDX says:

    @kittenfoo: I am inclined to agree with you. Paper catalogs don’t offer the immediacy of going to a website, finding exactly what you’re looking for, paying, and having it shipped and on it’s way in under 10 minutes.

    And to wax Nostalgic: I remember ordering a Vectrex through the Sears Catalog, having my dad drive me to the Sears at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream to pick it up, and thinking HOW COOL! I get to use a COMPUTER to pick my item up! This is the future!

  29. dweebster says:

    I thought Kmart bought Sears for the real estate, maybe I’m wrong about that.

    IMO Sears started to go downhill when they redesigned their stores (in the ’70s?) to be difficult to walk through – in other words they changed from straightforward paths to these gerbil traps that make you jam yourself through clothing racks to get from point A-B efficiently. Pisses a guy off, maybe women like spending all day getting lost in a store, but not me.

    Kmart (or as we affectionately called K-Fart) was a clean and fairly discounted store when I was a kid growning up. Not much to complain about, they had a good selection and the blue light was kitsch. Target was their only real competition in the midwest, and the Targets were filthy by comparison. But the Kmarts I’ve seen lately make going to Walmart even seem possible – god forbid!

    Unfortunately, Sears/Kmart have fucked off for so long building office buildings, then building office campuses, then moving back and forth between them, etc. while the business slid into oblivion. In a way the above comment @bohemian: is really too true – they’re so far behind that you’d basically need to tear down the stores to bedrock and then rebuild. Older companies tend to be clueless when their comfortable monopoly ways stop working, and by the time they get a handle on the fact there is sturdy competition on their turf it’s often too late and out come the golden parachutes.

    UPS and FedX bought up Mailbox Etc. and Kinkos to have local representatives for the “last mile.” Probably the most useful purpose for what’s left of Kmart and Sears would be to get purchased by a big internet retailer, merged into one (new) system, then serve as the local outpost of the internet giant. Optionally, Kmart could be the “Costco” alternative to Walmart – in other words pay employees better and respect them, offer fair discounts but don’t drive suppliers out of business, etc. Lots of ways to think themselves out of this box they’re in.

    But it’ll never happen. Sears will start republishing a catalog, then turn to railroad delivery of their merchandise (with to-the-door-service via mule cart), then…

  30. se7a7n7 says:

    Sears really should have been on top of the internets boom. If they would have beat Amazon.com to the punch in the 90’s they would be in a completely different place right now.

    I can just imagine in a board room meeting in the 90’s, some young executive was chirping away about what the internet was capable of. Then the old guys said, NO, our customers trust Sears the way it is right now and we want to stick with that. Then the young guy with all the ideas was fired for spouting too many ideas and not just nodding and grinning to everything.

    If they want to save themselves, they should think about having customers order online and having their local stores deliver the items to their front door. Who else does that?

  31. Will Sears’ webpage also be poorly lit and have items misplaced?

  32. madanthony says:

    It sounds like the idea is to make it an affiliate mall, crossed with UPS. I’m not sure that the world needs another affiliate mall, and I prefer getting stuff delivered to my door instead of having to drive to a store to pick it up.

    It doesn’t help that sears stores aren’t quite ubiquitous enough to be convenient to pick stuff up. Even worse, many of them are in malls, which means even if you live right down the street (like I do), it’s still a hassle because you have to deal with mall crowds and mall parking. And put on pants, unlike getting something delivered to your door.

    And if any company is going to succeed at a clicks and mortar affiliate mall strategy, it won’t be sears. Their website now is notorious for telling you an item is in stock, then waiting until after you’ve entered all your info to tell you it’s not.

  33. ElizabethD says:

    Headline: “Sears Invents Online Shopping!”

    Let me introduce you to Al Gore….

  34. Brie says:

    Team Rip Them Down And Start Over. The Sears I went to yesterday with my daughter had one fitting room, with seven stalls, to serve Juniors, Misses, Petites, Land’s End, Lingerie, Swimwear and so on. Maybe it was a holdover from the old catalog days when you wouldn’t have people who actually wanted to try stuff on and didn’t want to schlep all the way across the store to do it.

  35. ninabi says:

    I’ve read of so many experiences of terrible Sears shopping experiences here that I asked my mother, 73, why she shopped at Sears when we were going up in the 60s and 70s. I wanted to know what they were like then, why people used them and has Sears outlived its usefulness?

    My mother explained that in the past, Sears made quality appliances that lasted. Credit was harder to obtain back then and their Sears credit card enabled them to buy a dishwasher and a clothes dryer several years and several kids into the marriage. Kids clothing, play clothing (remember when all kids played outside?)came from Sears. It wasn’t so fashionable as that found in finer department stores but it wasn’t flimsy like the clothing found at Zayres or K-Mart.

    Here we are 35-40 years later with a company that cannot pull it together in the computer age and many other companies out there that CAN do a reliable sale. Their automotive department is a sneaky ripoff.Appliances aren’t so durable any more.

    Bringing back the catalog for Old Times Sake is creaky.

    1. Fix the computer problems, Sears.
    2. Sell only quality products. And have those products in stock.
    3. Make your appliance and tool departments better than any other store at good prices. Guess what? Nobody likes replacing washers, dryer, fridges and dishwashers every 3-5 years. Sell a reliable product, dammit.
    4.Focus on customer service,Sears. You have lost a lot of us along the way so work on a way to bring us back and keep us back. (Hint- I like to shop on the internet. I like quality tools. I do not like getting cheated at the automotive center or be charged for service not performed. And women buy power tools too).

  36. mariospants says:

    Look up the history on “Consumers Distributing”. Basically the same concept, 30 years ago. They’re not around today.

  37. econobiker says:

    @NotATool: Yeah, I thought Sears was dumb to kill the catalog in the ’90s just when everyone was touting “catalog and mail order” even before internet (pre’95).

    Look at Fingerhut, Victorias Secret (yeah guys like looking at that catalog but not for the prices), the multiple clothing catalogs my ex-wife used to get llbean, newport news (one of the ones that I still get multiple years after divorce in her name and ditch at the apt. complex mailboxes), JCWhitney for car stuff, et al.

    Sears should have been on top of this even if to downsize the catalog for more printings per year…

    R.I.P. Sears, say “Hi.” to Woolworths when you go to that retail store heaven…

    Sears Deathwatch: 2nd quarter 2009

  38. Pasketti says:

    A couple of years ago, about two weeks before Christmas, I went into one of the new Sears Brand Central stores. It was on the way home from work, and it stocked the thing that my wife was hinting that she wanted.

    This was two weeks before Christmas, and there were maybe a dozen other people in the store. This wasn’t a small place, it was your basic large department store.

    While walking to the small appliance area, I was accosted two separate times, one guy trying to sell me a new roof for the house, another trying to sell me new siding.

    All I could think of was that if this is how busy the place was during Christmas season, it must be bleeding money by the truckload.

    I’ve been there a couple times since, and while it’s a little better, it’s still pretty sparsely populated.

  39. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Sears could have had it all, but they let it slip through their fingers: [www.metafilter.com]

  40. morganlh85 says:

    Gateway to whatever is hot? That’s a stretch, considering I’ve never seen anything even mildly interesting at Sears. In fact I went the other day in search of a dress in a particular color. Not only did they not have any dresses in that color in their dress section, there weren’t any DRESSES. It was all skirts. And awful skirts too. It’s prom season — why didn’t they have any prom gowns? Every other dept. store has a whole section for them. The people who run Sears obviously just don’t know what the hell they are doing.

  41. whinypurist says:

    We shopped a Sears store just yesterday (Mall of America). Bought stuff we saw in a catalog they mailed to the house – featuring inexpensive “workwear” like Dickies, Carhartt, Timberland. All made in China. But my husband’s work clothes get brutal wear, men’s size 7.5 boots are hard to come by at the secondhand shops, and of course when we got there much of it was “on sale”, making the stuff basically impossible to resist. Then, we arrived at check out, and the clerk questioned whether we had the right box for the boots, whether it was marked with the correct price, and asked my husband for his id with his mastercard (he declined). So this is my lengthy way of saying Sears may be on to something, especially with targeted catalogs and known brands – including their own, but they’ll still need to back it up with decent quality and customer service.

  42. MrEvil says:

    I remember being a kid and my folks ordering all of my clothes and my sister’s clothes from Sears. Heck, they’d even order Christmas toys from Sears. This was back in the 80’s just at the climax of Sears’ domination.

    One thing I think that Sears still kicks everybody’s ass at is tools. They make good quality hand tools, and the only better you can get is Snap-on or Klein (Though Klein is limited to what electricians use). However, I don’t even think that’s going to keep them afloat with a Harbor Freight opening up in every decent sized city. Odds are when Sears goes belly-up Craftsman will no doubt live on and be fought over by the likes of Home Depot, Lowe’s, O’RLY Auto parts, Advance Auto, and Auto Zone. I think each one of them would sell their own mothers to carry such a recognized brand as Craftsman.

    If Sears hadn’t royally fucked up in ’93 by killing off the mail order division and rather shifted it over to more online than catalog, they would still be fighting tooth and nail with Wal-Mart for #1. Heck, Sears could have even dominated the auto parts business by bringing Western Auto into their mail-order system. Western Auto didn’t get sold off until 1998.

    However, I don’t even think THAT would have saved Sears’ asses though. Wal-Mart is in almost every town with a population greater than 10,000. That kind of retail presence is hard to compete with considering that folks in rural areas back in 1993 didn’t know what the Internet was and didn’t have want or need of a computer, but they knew where the nearest Wal-Mart was.

  43. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    I’m going against most on this topic but generally I have been very pleased with my local Sears store. The people know what they are selling, the appliance installation people are through and courteous. We also have a K-Mart, and it has improved marginally. My personal opinion is that they need to instill a sense of pride in their workers to make them keep the store organized. The store is clean, but there are some updates that NEED to be funded to make the store modern and clean – you can’t polish a turd. Their prices are good on somethings, and others not so much. Shouldn’t a discount store have discounts? As other alluded, I generally go to K-Mart because it is fairly close to my house, and I know I won’t encounter massive lines or a super packed parking lot. I’ll generally pay a hair more for that convenience factor.

    Speaking of convenience, does every else notice that very rarely Wal-Mart actually has the self checkout isles open? What’s the point if you don’t use it? I HATE WAL-MART.

  44. bohemian says:

    Just think. If some company sold a prefab housing kit today. Sort of the Ikea modular box/trailer rectangular modern concept I have seen some college design programs come up with. What if they sold add on solar panel systems, add on urban wind systems and green reasonably priced furniture and appliances to go in them? What if they delivered this on a hybrid between how Amazon and Barnes & Noble deal with delivery or merchandise in the store? But this would depend on a competent system and staff.
    What if you could preorder your groceries in real time inventory along with your typical Target store type inventory (clothes,pharmacy,drugstore items, small house goods) online over your lunch hour. Then drive up to the drive through loading area, swipe a card and load it all in your car?

    Kmart & Sears COULD have been something that really worked with the way people live today. They missed that window.

  45. TWinter says:

    @morganlh85: Actually, I’m not surprised that they don’t have prom dresses Sears. What 17 year old girl would want to go to the prom wearing a dress from Sears? Most if them would die of shame if their parents forced them to do that and parents forcing them is pretty much the only way that would happen.

  46. juseve says:

    I have to comment on this.
    Because I’ve grown up at Sears, for 20+ years…that’s how long my family’s been working there. They’ve done alot of terrible things just to cut cost. All of which has been hurting the consumer experience.
    The reason people used to shop there is because they would provide quality products along with the salespeople that knew what they were talking about. That’s what they stuck by when Best Buy came around & started to put a krink in the neck of their electronics business. Which Sears thought…no biggie. Sears was whispered to have had a small chance to buy Best Buy / Circuit City, but they thought that wasn’t the way “of the future”. They believed people would pay more to go to qualified salespeople. But then they cut back on the integrity of their sales depts. & had them don a drab khaki & black uniform, from their professional shirt & tie wear. They looked just like Best Buy, but w/o the frills & w/ all the strings attached. Not to mention being the highest interest rate credit card out there.
    When they got rid of the big book they tried to recoup what they lost in a sense by adding Land’s Ends products. But there are so many strings attached within THAT contract. Sears cannot discount any Land’s Ends products & their return policy is full of problems, among other things. Now, its just another “soft line” draining money. The whole purpose of it was to increase the “quality of soft goods.” but they still produce old lady clothes.
    Then most recently this is what they’ve done. Which I’m not sure anyone else has noticed but I know the sales people can’t stand this…
    1. If you call your local Sears…you automatically get transferred to Sears.com where they try to sell you EVERYTHING under the moon without checking availability. Which I forgot to mention, years ago they removed all their on-site stock departments. The “in-city” stock is minimal because the corporate Sears doesn’t want excess stock.
    2. If you ask for your department you get the run-around & quite possibly end up in India. All because supposedly customers were complaining that when they call the phone would just ring. So, now you cannot get in touch with your actual Sales person unless you have their cell phone
    3. And finally it was just announced that just like Conn’s they will be an open floor store. Meaning that you will be “hounded” everywhere. Before each commission sales person stuck to their own department…now it will be a free for all.
    So, as far as the Big book is concerned, there are many more problems than what the big book can provide.

  47. dantsea says:

    envisioning Sears.com as “a gateway to whatever is hot.”

    I’ve been up for about 23 hours.

    I’m coasting on the vapors of too much caffeine and stress from pushing an overdue project to completion.

    I am most likely irrational.

    Well, moreso than usual.

    But even in my current state, there’s no way in hell I could see anyone anywhere at any time using Sears as “a gateway to whatever is hot.”

  48. j3s says:

    You could say Sears is like the Keith Richards of retailers. It’s been dead for years, but somehow manages to keep staggering around.

    Or you could say it’s like MTV. Only good for tools.

    Die already.

  49. mgomega says:

    I remember the first time they axed the catalog. Customers kept complaining about getting products that had obviously been sitting in a warehouse for YEARS. I remember one complaint in particular where a customer returned a dress shirt. The shirt had apparently sat on a shelf for so long that the creases had become permanent and the part that was exposed to light had bleached. Pretty sad. They’ve never been masters of inventory control, but maybe they’ll get it right this time. I’m not holding my breath…

  50. onesix18 says:

    Kmart + Sears : Zero + zero = zero.

    Actually, appliance and tool purchases in the past few years have always led me to Sears for the best combination of quality and price.

  51. bobblack555 says:

    It’ll fail.

    Every retailer on earth now has an e-commerce presence. Doing this now isn’t the same as the old Sears Catalog, because there weren’t 5,000,000 other “catalogs” available to consumers back then.

  52. SavageATL says:

    FAIL.

    Wow, here’s the prime definition of clueless. It doesn’t make a difference how you package the same old crap no one wants and you won’t service properly as long as it’s the same old crap no one wants and you don’t service properly.

    I have no idea why Sears sells clothes, but they do. If I were responsible for this, i’d refashion SearsMart as a competitor to Ikea. They can continue to sell particleboard crap at the same price points but make it look Hip and Appealing. Rename the company something fashionable or at least change the logo to appeal to women, partner with a european retailer like H & M or Zara which sells cut rate Now fashions at rock bottom prices, remodel the stores, and learn to say Yes and Now to your customers. I would start with rebuilding the appliances and the tools to give same day delivery at YOUR convenience and a lifetime warranty on all appliances- how many people nowadays really keep a fridge 30 years or so? The cost of such a program would be much lower than you think. v. the cost of going out of business. And the tools, they should have tool workshops and project displays to bring in the guys who don’t have the dads to show them how to use the tools.

    How do these guys get to be executives anyway?